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Since friend are reading this post in English, the odds room you already know what the conjunction “so” means. Friend probably additionally know the “thus”, “therefore”, and also “hence” mean basically the very same as “so”, and you space wondering what the distinction is. If this is the case, this short article is simply for you.

Before moving on to the particular words, it need to be noted that “thus”, “therefore”, and also “hence” room all fairly formal and also much much more common in writing than in day-to-day conversation, whereby they are almost always substituted by “so”.

“Thus” and “so”

The most essential difference between “thus” and “so” is the “so” is a connect (meaning “and for the reason”, “and due to the fact that of that”), whereas “thus” is an adverb (synonymous with “consequently”). Because that example, the sentence

“Thus” is usually separated native the rest of the sentence through commas, but the commas are regularly omitted if this would bring about three commas in a row (as in the 3rd example).

The last example is no correct because “thus” cannot join two elevation clauses.

“Thus” also has another meaning: “in this way”, “like this” (in which instance it walk not introduce a clause). Because that example:

The comma below was ideal because what follows “thus” is not a clause. It is just a parenthetical expression prolonging the preceding clause.


Just choose “thus”, “hence” is an adverb, not a conjunction, so the cannot sign up with two independent rule (note that it is more common come omit the commas roughly “hence” than after “thus” in formal writing):

correct he is not satisfied. Hence(,) we should prepare a new proposal.
correct that is not satisfied; hence(,) we need to prepare a brand-new proposal.
wrong he is not satisfied, thus we should prepare a new proposal.

“Hence” used in this sense is fairly uncommon, and such intake persists mostly in devoted fields, together as scientific writing.

There is, however, another, more common meaning of “hence”, which substitutes a verb however is not a clause in itself and also is always separated indigenous the rest of the sentence through a comma:

Our server was down, therefore the hold-up in responding.The chemicals cause the rain to come to be acidic, therefore the hatchet “acid rain”.

As you have the right to see, “hence” substitutes paragraph such together “which leads to” or “which is the reason of”.


Finally, “therefore” is also an adverb meaning “as a reasonable consequence”. That is used largely in argumentation once one explain logically adheres to from another, and it is typical in scientific literature.

Again, style guides usually recommend to collection it off through commas, yet when this would certainly break the natural circulation of the sentence, many authors tend to omit the commas:

Some civilization argue the “therefore” functions perfectly well together a conjunction (like “so”) and also separating it with a comma instead of a semicolon is acceptable. However, none of the significant English dictionaries (such as Oxford English dictionary or Merriam-Webster) endorses such usage.

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Note the “therefore” does not sound herbal when over there is no evident logical connection in between the two statements, especially in casual context. You have to use “so” in such cases:

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